The US actors' union, known as SAG-AFTRA, has announced that its national board has voted to support a new agreement with Hollywood studios. This deal includes pay rises for performers and the introduction of intimacy co-ordinators on set. The agreement, which was reached after months of negotiations, covers a wide range of issues affecting actors in the film and television industry. One of the key provisions of the deal is an increase in minimum pay rates for performers. This means that actors working on low-budget productions will see a significant boost in their earnings. In addition to the pay rises, the agreement also includes measures aimed at improving on-set safety and the well-being of performers. One such measure is the introduction of intimacy co-ordinators. These professionals will be employed on sets where intimate or sensitive scenes are being filmed. Their role is to ensure that all parties involved are comfortable and to help navigate any potential issues that may arise during the filming process. Intimacy co-ordinators have become increasingly common in the industry in recent years, following a number of high-profile cases of misconduct and abuse. Their presence on set is seen as vital in maintaining a safe and respectful working environment for all actors involved. The agreement also addresses issues related to non-discrimination and harassment. It includes language that specifically prohibits harassment based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, and other protected categories. This provision is intended to combat the prevalence of harassment and discrimination in the industry and ensure that all performers are treated with respect and dignity. SAG-AFTRA President, Gabrielle Carteris, expressed her satisfaction with the new agreement, stating that it "demonstrates our ability to work together early and productively with our industry partners." The deal comes at a time when the film and television industry is grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The shutdown of productions has had a significant impact on actors and crew members, with many facing financial hardship as a result. The pay rises included in the agreement will provide much-needed relief for performers who have been struggling during this challenging time. The agreement between SAG-AFTRA and the studios still needs to be ratified by the union's members before it can take effect. However, given the broad support it has received from the national board, it is expected to be approved by the membership. This deal represents a significant victory for actors in the film and television industry. It acknowledges the importance of fair pay and safe working conditions for performers, as well as the need for increased accountability and protection against harassment and discrimination. The introduction of intimacy co-ordinators is a particularly positive development. Their presence on set will help to ensure that actors feel comfortable and supported during the filming of intimate scenes. This is a crucial step towards creating a more respectful and inclusive industry that values the well-being of its performers. Overall, the agreement between SAG-AFTRA and the Hollywood studios is a positive step forward for the actors' union and the industry as a whole. It demonstrates a commitment to fair treatment, improved safety measures, and increased accountability. With the support of its members, SAG-AFTRA can now move forward in implementing these important changes and continue to advocate for the rights and well-being of actors in the film and television industry.
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